Physical and sexual teen dating violence victimization and sexual identity among U.S. high school students, 2015.

Author(s): 
Olsen, E.O., Vivolo-Kantor, A., Kann, L. (2020).
Source: 
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 35(17-18), 3581 – 3600.
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Summary: 

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth are at risk for many negative behaviors associated with teen dating violence victimization (TDVV). This study describes the prevalence of physical and sexual TDVV by sexual identity and quantifies the increased risk for TDVV among LGB youth compared with heterosexual youth.

Expanded Abstract: 

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth are at risk for many negative behaviors associated with teen dating violence victimization (TDVV). This study describes the prevalence of physical and sexual TDVV by sexual identity and quantifies the increased risk for TDVV among LGB youth compared with heterosexual youth. The participants for this study were students in Grades 9 to 12 participating in the 2015 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) who responded to questions ascertaining sexual identity and both physical and sexual TDVV.

Data from the study were analyzed by sexual identity, stratified by sex, and controlled for race/ethnicity and grade in school. Frequencies of physical and sexual TDVV and prevalence of TDVV from a combined TDVV measure were calculated. Associations between these behaviors and sexual identity were identified.

The study found that LGB youth had greater prevalence and frequency TDVV compared with heterosexual youth. Prevalence of TDVV within sexual identity subgroups further differed by sex. Students who were not sure of their sexual identity had the highest risk of most categories of TDVV when adjusting for sex, race/ethnicity, and grade in school. These results are the first to use a nationally representative sample to describe frequency of TDVV and to determine prevalence of a combined physical and sexual TDVV measure by sexual identity among youth. Schools, communities, and families can help prevent teen dating violence and ameliorate the potential impacts of these victimizations.

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